Top 5 Pixar Soundtracks

Though Pixar’s films tend to lack the big musical numbers that make the soundtracks of Disney’s animated films so iconic, they’ve still provided audiences with some fantastic and largely underrated soundtracks. Even without the Broadway-style songs, Pixar films have featured soundtracks that rank up there with Disney’s and Studio Ghibli’s as some of the best music in animated films.

This begs the question as to which Pixar soundtracks are the best of the lot? While everyone is sure to have their own say-so, the following are what I consider to be Pixar’s best soundtracks. So if you’re a fan of film scores, I highly recommend giving each of them a purchase and repeated, obsessive replays.

One more thing, this list represents Pixar soundtracks as a whole, not individual pieces of music. Though I will highlight some of my favorites from each soundtrack. With that out of the way, let’s get to the top five!

 

5: Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo

Composed by: Thomas Newman

Highlights: Wow, Main Title: Nemo Egg, The Little Clownfish from the Reef, Finding Nemo

Though the earliest Pixar films, Toy Story 1 and 2, A bug’s Life, and Monsters, Inc. all had memorable soundtracks of their own, it was with Finding Nemo that Pixar found its first breathtaking soundtrack.

Finding Nemo’s score perfectly captures the awe, beauty and atmosphere of the ocean, while also providing more fun and upbeat tracks that suit many of the film’s characters. It’s a soundtrack as bold as the scope of the film itself, and may bring more than a few tears to your eyes with some of its heart-wrenching compositions.

4: The Incredibles

The Incredibles

Composed by: Michael Giacchino

Highlights: The Glory Days, Life’s Incredible Again, Kronos Unveiled, The Incredits

Here we have a total 180 in terms of shift in tone. The soundtrack for The Incredibles kickstarted Michael Giacchino’s Pixar (and Disney) career with music that ranges from action-packed and bombastic to – dare I say it? – sexy.

The Incredibles features a powerful score that can go toe-to-toe with that of any super hero film, while also encompassing some softer tunes that reflect the more everyday lives of the Incredibles themselves. If you want a Pixar soundtrack that will get your heart racing and make you feel like you can lift a train (don’t actually try that), then The Incredibles is definitely the soundtrack to go with.

3: Wall-E

Wall-E

Composed by: Thomas Newman

Highlights: Eve, The Axiom, Define Dancing, All That Love’s About

Here we find our way back to the good old Pixar kick to the emotions. Wall-E has one of Pixar’s most serene and somber musical scores. It’s perfect for capturing both its rather bleak look at Earth’s future, as well as echoing the film’s themes of love and loneliness.

Wall-E’s soundtrack manages to capture a wide range of feelings. From the grand to the melancholic to the romantic to the mystifying. This is another soundtrack that, like Nemo, reflects and expands on the film, its characters and themes. It’s downright heart-swelling.

2: Up

Up

Composed by: Michael Giacchino

Highlights: Married Life, Carl Goes Up, Stuff We Did, The Ellie Badge

No list of great Pixar soundtracks would be complete without Up making an appearance. And with good reason. Up’s score is one of the best film soundtracks of recent years. It somehow manages to capture both a sense of loss and longing as well as that of hope and adventure.

Up’s score, another great by Giacchino, effortlessly evokes both tragedy and whimsy in a way that so few films do. There are multiple tracks included here that are so emotional, they may leave you in tears.

Up’s soundtrack was, up to that point, the most moving, gentle, and ethereal of all Pixar soundtracks. But there is one that manages to outdo it.

1: Inside Out

Inside Out

Composed by: Michael Giacchino

Highlights: Bundle of Joy, Free Skating, Goofball No Longer, Tears of Joy, Rainbow Flyer, The Joy of Credits

It is only fitting that the most emotional Pixar score accompanies a film about emotions themselves. Inside Out’s score is sublime in both its beauty and subtlety. Its variety ranges from happy and upbeat to gentle and sad to funky and psychedelic. It is, appropriately, a roller coaster ride of emotions, and it’s as intriguing as it is fun.

With the soundtrack to Inside Out, Michael Giacchino took everything he achieved with his soundtrack to Up, and expanded on it, while simultaneously making it a bit weirder. There’s not a track included that doesn’t strike the desired emotional cords. It’s powerfully moving, whimsical and entertaining. And, oh yeah, the best Pixar soundtrack to date!

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Top 5 Pixar Soundtracks

  1. Mr. Panda

    Completely agree with Inside Out being #1 and Up being #2! Wall-E was great too, considering there wasn’t a lot of dialogue so the background stood out more. This is a very solid list!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. AfterStory

    You know what, I wasn’t that big a fan of the incredibles. I’ll probably have to give it another go as I only really gave it my time when I was a dumb kid and was just focused on fight scenes and explosions. Everyone holds that movie with such high regard so I’m definitely missing something here.
    I absolutely love the poignancy of Inside Out’s soundtrack! And while it might not be the best, the nostalgia of Toy Story’s soundtrack is noteworthy to say the least! I’d say that finding nemo, Up, and Wall-E would take the cake for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Jonas

    Married Life from the UP soundtrack gets me every single time. You can easily recognise the story through the music and it takes me on an emotional rollercoaster over and over again 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. dylan417

    Those are some really great choices. Up’s soundtrack really made that movie special. Inside Out’s is still brand new to me and hard to really identify yet, but it does compliment the movie perfectly. I think my favorite would be a toss-up between The Incredibles and Ratatouille. The Incredibles has an awesome retro superhero theme to it while Ratatouille’s brings the movie’s setting to life.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s